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Subject: Anything like Die Macher? rss

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K S
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Just played this game for the first time yesterday, and I see why it's a classic. Most of us really enjoyed it, but it wasn't without its problems. While parts of it seemed highly thematic, some of it seemed very "gamey", and of course it goes on a bit long. I was wondering if there might be anything like it more suited to our tastes as a group, but I can't recall anybody ever mentioning any other games as being "alternatives"/"competitors", but maybe y'all know some games I haven't even heard of?

To be clear, I'm not just looking for a politically-themed game, what I liked most about Die Macher and had never seen other games do was the way I manipulated my own party platform and the view of the electorate in order to try to find a winning match. I also really liked that I had to attend to multiple elections and the high amount of player interaction (auctions, coalitions, "take that" from shadow ministers and opinion polls).

Any ideas? Thanks!
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Laura Creighton
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I haven't played Die Macher, so these may completely miss the mark. However, I supect that the reason you haven't found another game like it is that you haven't been looking at political games made from the wargaming side of the hobby. There are many, many, many of these. Here are a handful, all of which except Wir sind das Volk I have played, but I included that one in case it was Germany you were particularly interested in. I think all of these are readily available now, except for Here I Stand, but the new release (for it) will be out soon.

Wir sind das Volk!
Here I Stand (new reprint coming out in Sept!)
Twilight Struggle
1960: The Making of the President
Churchill

Trying this question in the wargaming general forum may generate better results. Let people know how many people you want to play the game, if that is important to you.

Ah, and I thought of one that isn't from the wargaming side.
Tammany Hall But I haven't played that one, either.




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Chris Ferejohn
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Founding Fathers perhaps?
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Yours Truly,
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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Maybe on a much smaller scale, The King Is Dead?
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K S
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Thanks for all the suggestions, which I'll take a closer look at when I get a chance.

I see that these are all politically themed games, but I couldn't tell from your responses whether or not you think these games have some sort of "platform tailoring" and "influencing public opinion" aspects to try to curry influence?
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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La Città has a vaguely similar-ish mechanism in which four semi-hidden cards representing 'The Voice of the People' determine how the population will move from city to city. It's not really possible to utilise that information in a systematic, strategical fashion though (as you need a randomly drawn action card to help you peek at the hidden information, so it's unlikely you will be able to do this consistently); and for the time investment I think you're better off playing Die Macher even if that takes well over another hour to complete.
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Yours Truly,
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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wamsp wrote:
Thanks for all the suggestions, which I'll take a closer look at when I get a chance.

I see that these are all politically themed games, but I couldn't tell from your responses whether or not you think these games have some sort of "platform tailoring" and "influencing public opinion" aspects to try to curry influence?


King is Dead (and its earlier incarnation King of Siam) is a game where you have several action cards, and you can take cubes of 3 different colors. By taking them you are "invested" in them (kind of like "platform tailoring"). The game goes through each region of the country one-by-one, with a "power struggle" whereby one color will prevail. That's the part I see as somewhat similar to the "influencing public opinion." At the end, whichever color rules the most regions, whoever is invested most in that color wins. There are other intricacies such as tiebreakers, and the British taking over if no color has majority, which changes the win-conditions (you need then to have the most sets of different colors).

So I could see you finding this one interesting, albeit as I said on a much smaller scale.
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Tim Tix
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wamsp wrote:
I see that these are all politically themed games, but I couldn't tell from your responses whether or not you think these games have some sort of "platform tailoring" and "influencing public opinion" aspects to try to curry influence?


Interesting thread. I haven't played Die Macher (but would love to) so I am not really able to tell what you're looking for. I've not played gazillions of games either like other users who can give valuable recommendations.

But I compiled this list: My political and war game (watch) list ... where good people gave me a lot of advice.
Even if you're not exclusively looking for political games, this might be of interest for you. Especially 1960 and its cousins could work for you.

Speaking of "influencing public opinion", Wir sind das Volk! is something you should take a closer look at.
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Laura Creighton
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wamsp wrote:
Thanks for all the suggestions, which I'll take a closer look at when I get a chance.

I see that these are all politically themed games, but I couldn't tell from your responses whether or not you think these games have some sort of "platform tailoring" and "influencing public opinion" aspects to try to curry influence?


Here I Stand is all about currying influence, but with the other players, and while there are lots and lots of events that count as 'public opinion', elections aren't the focus --- so I think not what you are looking for. I'd start my look with Tammany Hall and 1960: The Making of the President. Jason Matthews and Christian Leonhard are the designers of both 1960: The Making of the President, and Founding Fathers. Jason Matthews is also one of the two designers of Twilight Struggle. But I think -- haven't really looked at Founding Fathers, nor played it, so this might be wrong -- that 1960 will give you more of the 'public opinion and campaign platform development' that you are looking for, compared to the others. At any rate, if 1960 _doesn't_ give you what you are looking for, I am pretty sure Twilight Struggle and Churchill won't either.

The rules for 1960 are in the files section https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/27708/1960-making-presid...
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James Wahl
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I actually heard a Die Macher comparison to Vino recently.

It's a game of buying and "selling" vineyards in nine regions of Italy from very small to probably 7x very small. There are five types of grapes, and whenever a player buys their first vineyard within a region, they are granted a monopoly on a grape type within that region. All other players entering that region have to grow a different grape type there, and the player with the monopoly can grow no other type of grape there. Not all regions grow all varieties. The vineyards within a region are all different prices, and are either "public" or "private"; once all of the "private" vineyards are purchased, the "public" ones (if there are any left) are given away - one to the player with the most vineyards, two to the player with the second-most, and the rest to the player with the third most, with that priority.

Rounds have four phases, a phase where each player secretly chooses the only two regions in which they will buy vineyards and then they all reveal, a phase where players buy vineyards with an cool turn order thing, and a phase during which they sell a set number of vineyards of a single grape variety (that set number based on how many vineyards they currently own of that variety), then finally, sales phase turn order for the next round is set as the reverse order of money made from sales this round.

The weird turn order thing for buys is that for each region, from smallest to largest 1) players who already have vineyards in a region can buy as many as they want, but in order of how many vineyards they already own in that region; meaning that the first player could buy all of the remaining vineyards before the second one gets a chance to buy any, and 2) players who aren't in a region must firstly, have a variety left to monopolize in that region, and then they buy or pass in turn order, a single vineyard at a time, until all have passed.

Also, when players sell there's a mini-market that adds a bonus to the next sale of that type of grape, and the more a player sells of a variety, 1) the more they must lower the bonus of the type of grape they sold, and 2) the more they can raise the bonus on other types of grapes of their choosing.

Winning condition? Most vineyards after all government giveaways are completed.

There's a ton of levers and you're fighting on 9 fronts at all times, but can only actively increase your presence on 2 fronts in any particular turn. I get the comparison.

The game has some unfortunate production design decisions that make it very difficult to play as shipped, but one can be fixed with two different types of replacement grape chit files in its bgg file section. The other is the method that it uses to keep track of vineyards of a particular grape type; and I replaced that with homemade chits in my own copy, and plan to upload the files for the chits (and smaller player boards) soon. Also paper money; hope you have poker chips.

That's the end of my overelaborate recommendation. Try Vino. A lot shorter than Die Macher. The grape varieties could be seen as the issues, through a funhouse mirror.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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pharmakon wrote:
I actually heard a Die Macher comparison to Vino recently.

Vino and Die Macher...??!!??

Yes, you were describing the Vino I know alright... but Die Macher? No. I find that exceedingly far-fetched. But I'll echo that people ought to try the game when they can. It has a very clever market mechanism which to my knowledge was never replicated elsewhere.
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James Wahl
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cymric wrote:
pharmakon wrote:
I actually heard a Die Macher comparison to Vino recently.

Vino and Die Macher...??!!??

Yes, you were describing the Vino I know alright... but Die Macher? No. I find that exceedingly far-fetched. But I'll echo that people ought to try the game when they can. It has a very clever market mechanism which to my knowledge was never replicated elsewhere.


Not thematically in any way, but

wamsp wrote:
the way I manipulated my own party platform and the view of the electorate in order to try to find a winning match. I also really liked that I had to attend to multiple elections and the high amount of player interaction (auctions, coalitions, "take that" from shadow ministers and opinion polls).


is it that far fetched? I'd say it's the closest recommendation suggested thus far outside of Tammany Hall.

edit: closer than Tammany Hall, even. I was surprised by the comparison, too, but when I thought about it for a second, it seemed totally obvious.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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pharmakon wrote:
is it that far fetched? I'd say it's the closest recommendation suggested thus far outside of Tammany Hall.

I'm sorry, try as I might I have a very hard time connecting the dots. (With Tammany Hall too, by the way.)

For those who ever played the game, how does Sylla hold up?

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Tim Tix
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cymric wrote:
For those who ever played the game, how does Sylla hold up?


As I indicated above, I'm a "casual conflict gamer" and not one who's experienced enough to grasp every subtlety immediately. I bought Sylla because it sounded interesting and got only to play it once so far (I struggle finding the right people). But... I think it is interesting how the designer tied the different mechanisms and phases together in order to simulate the intricacies of politics.

But don't trust me, trust Ender.
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Rich Shipley
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I saw a kickstarter project recently that reminded me a bit of Die Macher: Cover Me

Theme-wise, it is about as far from politics as you can get, but trying to follow fashion trends and also influence them seems similar mechanically.

La Città was the first thing I thought of, but cymric beat me to it.
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Christopher Peters
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Laura Creighton
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Recommended Churchill and it could be close to what you're looking for - at least feel wise. You're all allies, and while you're not manipulating a party platform, you are manipulating the execution of the second world war- trying to move it in directions that benefit you, while not benefiting you TOO much.

It's Euro mechanics blended with a war theme (a war you could, quite frankly, sabotage if it suited your ends). It's flipping brilliant... It's a negotiation and strategy game that is driven by..... Trick Taking!

It's crazy, it's smart, it's audacious, and it may never get the credit it deserves. It's the best three player game I've ever played. Don't be put off if you think it's a war game, it's about war, but if you go from 1 being a Euro to 10 being hex and counter war games, Churchill is like a two and a half.

She also recommended Here I Stand, but as much as that game is one of my only 'tens' it's a lot to ask 5 other people to set aside an entire day to tackle that beast.


wamsp wrote:
To be clear, I'm not just looking for a politically-themed game, what I liked most about Die Macher and had never seen other games do was the way I manipulated my own party platform and the view of the electorate in order to try to find a winning match. I also really liked that I had to attend to multiple elections and the high amount of player interaction (auctions, coalitions, "take that" from shadow ministers and opinion polls).

Any ideas? Thanks!
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Ian Kissell
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It is extremely hard to get, but check out €uro Crisis.
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Carel Teijgeler
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There are 2 games on the Swedish Parliament:

2010
2014

Perhaps worth looking into.
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